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The Equality Act 2010. What the new Act means for you. Contents. 1. Purpose of the Act 2. What does this mean for society? 3. Overview of sectors covered by the Act 4. Protected Characteristics 5. Prohibited Conduct. 6. Other Key provisions 7. Timescales

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The Equality Act 2010

What the new Act means for you



1. Purpose of the Act

2. What does this mean for


3. Overview of sectors covered by

the Act

4. Protected Characteristics

5. Prohibited Conduct

6. Other Key provisions

7. Timescales

8. Codes and Guidance

9. Further information


Purpose of the Act

Strengthening, harmonising and streamlining 40 years of equalities


Strengthening: improving the effectiveness of equality legislation

Harmonising: providing the same levels of protection from discrimination across all the protected characteristics and all sectors, where appropriate

Streamlining: simplifying and consolidating approximately 116 pieces of separate equality legislation


Protected Characteristics

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • 5. Pregnancy and maternity


7. Religion and belief

8. Sex

9. Sexual orientation


Where does the Act apply?

  • Services and Public Functions
  • Premises
  • Work
  • Education
  • Associations, including Political Parties

So, what does this mean for society? Here are four examples:

Extending the equality duty to require the public sector to take into account the needs of all protected groups (except marital and civil partnership status).

2. Protecting disabled people from potentially discriminatory questions in the recruitment process.

3. Protecting carers from discrimination.

4. Protecting pregnant women and mothers from discrimination when using services etc.


Prohibited Conduct

Direct discrimination, including by association and perception.

Indirect discrimination – now covers all characteristics.

3. Pregnancy and maternity discrimination.


Prohibited conduct


2. Third party harassment.

3. Discrimination arising from disability.

4. Duty to make reasonable adjustments.


Other Key Provisions

  • Public Sector Equality Duty to have due regard to
  • the need to:
  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and
  • victimisation
  • Advance Equality of Opportunity
  • Foster good relations
  • Positive Action provisions permits proportionate action to overcome disadvantage, meet needs and tackle under representation.


October 2010: The majority of the Act’s provisions came into force on 1 October 2010.

5 April 2011: Public Sector Equality Duty and specific duties in Wales

September 2011: Specific Duties in England and non-devolved bodies.

2013: Gender pay gap regulations (awaiting government clarification) and political parties publishing diversity data.


Statutory Codes

October 2010: Employment;

Services, Public Functions and

Associations; and Equal Pay.

TBC 2011: Further and Higher Education and Schools

TBC 2011:Public Sector Equality Duty

Under discussion: Housing and Premises; Transport.


EHRC Non Statutory Guidance

July 2010 : Employment; Services; Education.

January 2011: Public Sector Equality Duty.


How do I find out more?

Visit for the Commission’s guidance and starter kit live from 1st October 2010.

You can also contact with any queries.

For general questions you can call the Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline: England: 0845 604 6610 ~ Scotland: 0845 604 5510 ~ Wales: 0845 604 8810.


End of Presentation